Clive Anderson was born in Stanmore, Middlesex in 1952. After studying law at Cambridge University, where he was also President of the Footlights revue group, he practised as a barrister in London for about 15 years.
In the meantime he had written scripts for Frankie Howard, Griff Rhys Jones, Mel Smith and others, and performed as a stand-up comedian, which led to presenting radio and television programmes, in particular Whose Line Is It Anyway? on Radio 4 and then on Channel 4. He presented ten series of his chat show Clive Anderson Talks Back, picking up British Comedy Awards in 1991 and 1992, before moving on to BBC One with Clive Anderson All Talk. In 2003 he also presented The Big Read for BBC Two.
In recent years, Clive has combined his continuing interest in the law with his role as a radio presenter in the regular series Unreliable Evidence on Radio 4. He says, "My personal pleasure from Unreliable Evidence comes from getting to chair discussions on legal matters involving the highest level of judges and academics - the sort of figures who would have terrified me when I was actually practising as a barrister."
He also covered the Sunday morning 11 AM-1 PM show on BBC Radio 2 through the end of January 2008.
It was announced in April 2008 that Anderson, who had previously filled in for host Ned Sherrin from 2006 until his death from throat cancer in 2007, would be taking over as permanent host of Loose Ends. He also hosted six series of Clive Anderson's Chat Room on BBC Radio 2 from 2004–2009. Clive Anderson has appeared on BBC Radio 4's The Unbelievable Truth hosted by David Mitchell.
As well as writing comedy, Anderson is also a frequent contributor to newspapers, and was a regular columnist in the Sunday Correspondent.